The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by US airlines or in US territory, following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on Sunday.
In a reversal of stance earlier this week that the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft was airworthy, FAA in a statement said its latest decision was a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analysed. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA, led to this decision.
The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.
The FAA’s move comes after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency suspended operations of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in the bloc.
China, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Ethiopia, Norway and the Netherlands are now among a growing list of countries to suspend Boeing 737 Max jet from their airspace.
According to a CNN report, 50 countries have now grounded or banned the planes inside their airspace. Even Boeing has issued a statement stating the recommendation of the temporary global suspension of the entire 737 Max fleet.
Last Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. This is the second tragedy involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in the past six months, coming after the Lion Air crash with a plane of the same model in October 2018.